Through an initiative by a local funeral home with the support of renowned grief expert and author, Alan Wolfelt, Ph.D., a grief program was created with a curriculum grounded in his teachings on understanding grief. As time passed, the need to expand the program to include children, teens and their caregivers became evident.
Because the challenge was so encompassing, a focus group was formed to consider the possibility of a community supported grief center in the Greeley area.
Several community informational meetings were held and ultimately the idea was met with a very positive response. A Board of Directors was formed to lead the development and the Community Grief Center became a reality. In January 2016 the board received the Center’s 501(c) 3 non-profit designation.
Dr. Debby Baker, a retired Air Force Colonel and Clinical Psychologist and a member of the original focus group was appointed as the Executive Director. A generous donor purchased a facility for the Grief Center and the doors opened in August of 2016.
The board hired its first paid employee, an Executive Director in July 2017 which allowed Dr. Baker to focus on additional support programs and curriculum development. A year later, having outgrown the original facility, a larger building was purchased by the same benefactor. Six months later and after hundreds of volunteer hours, donated materials and services from our community, we now have a place to call home at 4650 West 20th Street in Greeley.
Dr. Baker is our Clinical Psychologist /Program Director. Dozens of dedicated and trained volunteers assist in the programs and activities to make our services cost free to those we serve. Since 2016, more than 2,500 individuals grieving the loss of a loved one have participated in one or more of our programs.
DeeAnne Zuhlke is our new Executive Director.
The Community Grief Center continues to be governed by a Board of Directors that provides visionary leadership and works to ensure ongoing funding.